COVID-19 and the courts: June 8 update

Today’s update for courthouses across Canada

COVID-19 and the courts: June 8 update

Courts across Canada are taking extraordinary measures to control the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19. Below is a roundup of actions courts are taking across the country.


Supreme Court of Canada

News release dated June 3
The court is getting set to hold virtual hearings for the first time, with the first virtual appeal scheduled for June 9. The court has made spaces available via Zoom for those interested in observing the hearings, in keeping with the open court principle. Registration is required to act as a virtual observer but not required to access the webcast.

“We may not be able to welcome members of the public to our physical courtroom, but we are excited to invite everyone to our virtual courtroom for the first time,” said Chief Justice Richard Wagner in a news release.

Federal Court

Practice Direction and Order (COVID-19): Update #3
Subject to certain exceptions, the court is extending the suspension period described in its Apr. 29 update until June 15, extending the timelines for filing documents and taking other procedural steps until June 29 and refraining from holding in-person hearings until July 13.

British Columbia

Provincial Court of British Columbia

Announcement — Update on Traffic, Ticket, or Bylaw Matters
The court is adjourning traffic, ticket or bylaw matters scheduled from Mar. 18 to June 12. Disputants do not need to visit the court for the matter to be rescheduled.

Supreme Court of British Columbia

COVID-19 Notice No. 26 — Resumption of trial management conferences — Civil and family matters
For a civil matter in which a jury notice has been filed and served, if all parties agree to proceed by judge alone they may apply for such an order at a trial management conference or at a judicial management conference. Parties seeking to strike a jury notice or to oppose an application to strike may do so through a written submissions process.

COVID-19 Notice No. 25 — Resumption of some court operations — Civil and family matters
The court is suspending civil jury selections and cancelling civil jury trials until Sept. 7.


Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

Criminal Appearance Court and rescheduling criminal matters — province-wide
On June 5, the court resumed Criminal Appearance Court matters via WebEx, prioritizing in-custody matters, trials that were Jordan-threatened prior to the pandemic, and trial adjournments from March 16 to June 26, 2020.

Non-binding judicial dispute resolutions (JDRs) / Family early intervention case conferences (EICCs)
From June to August the court will be hearing non-binding JDRs where all parties are represented by counsel and where all counsel consent to proceeding via WebEx, as well as family EICCs where all parties consent to proceeding via WebEx.


Provincial Court of Saskatchewan

Sitting Notice, June 1, 2020
As of June 1, the following court points are open: Estevan, La Ronge, Lloydminster, Meadow Lake, Melfort, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Wynyard, Yorkton, Carlyle, Fort Qu’Appelle, Kindersley, Montreal Lake, Nipawin, Punnichy, Spiritwood and Weyburn.


Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Notice Regarding the Suspension of Small Claims Court Operations
The Small Claims Court has started scheduling remote settlement conferences for non-urgent matters where all parties have agreed to proceed remotely, each defendant has filed a defence or has been noted in default prior to Mar. 16 and all parties have agreed to rely solely on the pleadings as filed and served.

New Brunswick

Provincial Court of New Brunswick

Notice to the media, justice participants and the public
Effective June 1 and until further notice, the court is relaxing certain COVID-19-related restrictions. The notice discusses how the court is currently dealing with criminal matters, regulatory offenses, provincial tickets, telewarrants and other matters.

Court of Appeal of New Brunswick

COVID-19 Update to Directive
The court, which intends to resume in-person hearings for June, has introduced changes to its courtrooms to adhere with distancing requirements. It has also made modifications regarding document filing and service, hearing of motions and appeals, and media access.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Supreme Court

COVID-19: Nova Scotia Supreme Court lifts suspension of filing deadlines
Starting June 5 at 11:59 p.m., the court has lifted the suspension of filing deadlines under its civil procedure rules.

Prince Edward Island

Provincial Court of Prince Edward Island

COVID-19 update — June 1, 2020
Effective June 1 the court has been gradually increasing its operations. However, access to the courthouse is still limited to individuals who are necessary to the proceedings. The court is also imposing additional screening procedures for those who do enter the courthouse.

Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island

Updated notice to the profession, the public and the media regarding court operations — COVID-19
Effective June 15, the court will no longer be abiding by an urgent, emergency or essential services model and will be scheduling in-person hearings as long as the proceedings can follow established protocols.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador

COVID-19 Notice to the Profession and the Public — Court Resuming Normal Processes for Filing Documents
Effective June 8 the court is recommencing its regular processes for document filings, subject to certain exceptions, and is no longer accepting emailed documents.

COVID-19 Notice to the Profession and the Public — Rescheduling Missed Appearances in St. John's Family Division
The notice gives an overview of the rescheduling process for certain kinds of appearances in the Family Division in St. John’s, such as applications, case management hearings, default summons and settlement conferences.

Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador

Notice to the Profession and General Public
The notice provides guidelines for attending appeals via videoconference or teleconference. One seeking to attend a matter listed on the docket should contact the court’s registry at least 48 hours before the hearing.

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